Mexico City: Old Meets New - United Hub

Mexico City: Old meets new

By Bob Cooper

Mexico City is a spicy blend of old and new, with excavated Aztec ruins in the shadows of a skyline where half of the tallest buildings have arisen since 2014. The city boasts a lively culture, more museums than most European cities and a world-class restaurant scene. For all these reasons, North America's largest city has landed near the top of world travelers' must-see lists.

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Aerial view of Mexico City

Monuments, museums and murals

Mexico City explorations logically begin at sprawling Zocalo Square, where the Mexican flag is ceremonially raised and lowered daily. The square is in the historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, near North America's largest cathedral and the National Palace. Inside the palace, Diego Rivera's stunning tableau of 400 years of Mexican history occupies 4,800 square feet of wall space, a project that took him six years to complete. It's one of several places in the city where Rivera's art shines. If you're a fan, be sure to check out the nearby Diego Rivera Mural Museum as well as the impressive art of his wife, Frida Kahlo, at the Frida Kahlo Museum (also known as the Blue House).

Aztec attractions

Templo Mayor (Great Temple) was the center of the Aztec world in the ancient capital of Tenochtitlan. Since it was discovered right next to Zocalo Square in 1978, the extensive subterranean ruins and companion museum have become a big attraction. Additional Aztec ruins are seen on bus tours to the ancient city of Teotihuacan, just outside Mexico City. Highlights there include the Pyramid of the Sun—nearly as wide and about half as tall as the Egyptian pyramids—and the Pyramid of the Moon. Yes, you can climb them, and explore the Aztec ruins of seven palaces nearby.

Mayan Temple at Anthropology Museum - Mexico City, Mexico

Bosque de Chapultepec

Like most world cities, Mexico City has an exceptional city park, Bosque de Chapultepec. The most impressive building is Chapultepec Castle, a hilltop fortress erected for a Spanish viceroy who never occupied it. It now serves as the National History Museum. Also in and around the park, twice the size of New York City's Central Park, is a zoo, a botanical garden, a lake with rowboat and paddleboat rentals, an amusement park, two modern art museums, the Water Garden Museum (showcasing several Diego Rivera murals) and the National Museum of Anthropology—arguably Mexico's best museum, worthy of a half-day visit.

Cuisine and Cervezas

Mexico City has emerged as a major culinary destination, led by restaurants such as Pujol and Quintonil, ranked 20th and 22nd in the world. (The only other city with two restaurants ranked that high: Paris.) Both are located in the upscale Polanco district. The trendy Condesa district and artsy Roma district are also home to many outstanding restaurants serving Mexican and fusion fare, as well as great shopping and nightspots. Or you can just relax at an informal cantina on any commercial street to enjoy quesadillas and cervezas with a televised soccer game or Mexican music as entertainment.

Busy downtown Historic Center street in Mexico City

On the boulevard

Paseo de la Reforma is a grand boulevard that slices diagonally through Mexico City, from the old city center to Bosque de Chapultepec. Broad and handsome, it's lined by tall statues and monuments, taller trees and even taller modern high-rises. Clogged with traffic the rest of the week, it changes character on Sundays, when most of it is closed to vehicles until 2 p.m. That's when tens of thousands of walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists take it over—a treat for locals and tourists alike.


Mexico City is safer than many U.S. cities, so don't let movies about cartels that operate elsewhere in Mexico keep you away. The subway system is also quite safe—and the fastest and least expensive way to get around the city. Buses and Uber are also good transportation options. Just don't rent a car, as the traffic is insane. Good hotels are about $50/night; excellent hotels are about $100. Once you've checked in, allow ample time to take in the sights as the 7,400-foot altitude encourages a relaxed pace.

The Royal Chapel at the Gardens of National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico

If you go

United Airlines offers flights to Mexico City from several U.S. cities and MileagePlus® Rewards can help pay for your hotel room once you arrive. Go to or use the United app to plan your Mexico City escape.

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How to change your flight, or cancel and rebook later

By The Hub team , April 04, 2020

We know people are taking a second look at their travel plans right now. If you're scheduled to travel March 10 – May 31, 2020 and would like to change your plans, there is no fee to do so, regardless of when you purchased your ticket or where you're traveling. This is in addition to our previous waiver, which waives all change fees – domestic and international – for tickets purchased March 3 – April 30, 2020. This is available for any of United's published nonrefundable fares. If you decide to cancel your flight, you can retain the value of your ticket to be applied to a new ticket without a fee. These electronic travel certificates are now valid for 24 months from the date they were issued. This includes all currently valid electronic certificates and all new ones issued on or after April 1, 2020. You might not see this policy change reflected everywhere right away – we appreciate your patience as we work to make that happen.

Eligible travelers on domestic flights and international tickets can request a refund on or may call our contact centers if their flights have been severely adjusted or service to their destination suspended either due to government mandates or United schedule reductions related to COVID-19.

Certain tickets cannot be changed on or the mobile app, including tickets booked through another airline (if the ticket receipt does not begin with 016). Please contact the original ticketing airline for changes.

Follow the steps below to stay up to date, change or cancel your flight.

Change your current flight:

  1. On the homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your flight information to retrieve your flight.
  2. Select "Change flight" and then "Edit" to make the following changes:
    • Date of travel or destination
    • Add a flight
    • Remove a flight
  3. Select "Continue" and choose a new flight option
  4. Continue through booking to confirm your new flight

Note: The change fee will display as waived, but any difference in fare may apply.

Cancel your flight and rebook later:

  1. On the homepage, select "My Trips" and enter your reservation information to retrieve your flight
  2. Select "Cancel flight"
  3. Confirm flight cancellation
  4. If you have future flight credit, when you return to the reservation, select "Use Future Flight Credit" to shop for new flights and apply the credit towards a new flight.

Canceling or changing an award flight:

When you select "Cancel flight," you will have the option to cancel your award reservation and redeposit the miles or to cancel your award reservation and use those miles for another trip in the future.

*We're currently experiencing heavy traffic to If you experience an error while trying to change or cancel your flight, please try again later.

Click through the slideshow below for more detailed instructions:

​Start on the United homepage: ​

User can select 'My Trips' on the homepage widget to find and retrieve their reservation.

  • If you're not signed in or you're a guest user, enter your confirmation number and last name.
  • If you are signed in, you can select a trip from your current trips or select the 'Find another trip' link.

Working to bring people home – repatriation flights underway

By The Hub team , April 03, 2020

When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.

We have operated more than 68 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 9,200 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.

Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.

Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Managua, Nicaragua
  • Roatan, Honduras
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Amsterdam
  • Brussels
  • Munich
  • Singapore
  • Tokyo-Haneda
  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Melbourne, Australia

We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team , April 02, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.

So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).

  1. Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
  2. Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
  3. From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.

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